Tag Archives: My Inspiration

My Inspiration for August 2017

31 Aug

August brought reveries of Madame Bovary, soft Edwardian lace and warm rich Pre-Raphaelite colours. I was inspired by Rossetti’s redheads, white dresses, Lord Tennyson’s poem “Lady of Shalott”, Iggy Pop, Marvin Gaye and Falco, Frida Kahlo, poetry by Langston Hughes, circus in art and the loneliness of the trapeze artist in Wings of Desire (1987), dreaminess of the sea waves and pebbles and songs of seagulls, paintings by Stephen Mackey, shabby chic aesthetic, teddy bears. I watched a few great films: Stella Maris (1918) with Mary Pickford, Before Night Falls (2000) about the Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, “bad poet in love with the moon” as he wrote in his self-epitaph, played by Javier Bardem, Smoke (1995) which was so cool! I’ve read The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas which I enjoyed very much, An Education by Lynn Berber (I still prefer the film with Carey Mulligan though), The Scarlett Letter by Hawthorne, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, and the most fascinating discovery The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende which has elements of magic realism and bears resemblance to Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Oh, those gold afternoons of August, writing poetry and daydreaming, gentle breeze and birdsong coming through the open window, waking up from a reverie only to step outside and admire the sunset in blazing pinks, orange, yellow and lilacs.

“Things I hold most dear: music, nature, poetry, solitude.” (Marina Tsvetayeva)

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My Inspiration for July 2017

31 Jul

This month I was inspired by pot marigolds, Greuze’s paintings, film Tristan and Isolde (2006) and TV series Merlin; England in dark ages, knights, Camelot, long-haired maidens, Morgana’s gorgeous costumes, ballerinas, houses in Normandy, yellow butterflies, Reykjavik, Celtic tree symbolism, dreamy white Neuschwanstein Castle, anemones, Waterhouse’s Miranda, soundtrack of Corpse Bride (2009), Love Story (1970) with Ali MacGraw, wedding veils and Scottish highlands. I’ve read some really fantastic books: One Hundred Years of Solitude and Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Márquez; if you like psychedelia you’ll love magic realism as much as I do, Diary of a Seducer by Kierkegaard which was very amusing (I now know how to seduce a girl, make her brake off the engagement and make her feel guilty about it!), A Room with a View by E.M.Forster: it was a light, interesting read with great descriptions of Italy and nature, the heroine, Lucy Honeychurch is forced to chose between the conventions imposed by her society and desires of her heart for love and truth (in the film from 1985 Lucy is portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter), and Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen.

Something in me vibrates to a dusky, dreamy smell of dying moons and shadows.” (Zelda Fitzgerald)

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My Inspiration for June 2017

30 Jun

This June was all about straw hats and white lace, dreamy countryside photos by David Hamilton, Bruce Springsteen’s amazing music and lyrics which romanticise the working class reality, poems by Heinrich Heine, Anne Redpath’s paintings of flowers and pottery, castles and vampires, yellow flowers, Brigitte Bardot in a blue dress and blue bows in her braids – adorable, Andrew Wyeth and Gary Bunt’s paintings of laundry drying outdoors, Celtic tree astrology, Van Morrison…. I finished watching “Anne with an E” and I read the book Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery as well: it is the most dreamy, beautiful thing I’ve seen and read in a while; it was a source of many lovely daydreams. I’ve also read Cheri by Colette, Wild at Heart by Barry Gifford, Franny and Zooey by Salinger, and I am half-way through reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Márquez which is brilliant so far. And this is the sentence that intrigued me: “Upset by two nostalgias facing each other like two mirrors, he lost his marvelous sense of unreality and he ended up recommending to all of them that they leave, that they forget everything he had taught them about the world and the human heart, […], and that wherever they might be they always remember that the past was a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.

June was not a particularly productive month here on the blog, but it was a happy one for sure. I’m just too busy daydreaming and …… doing nothing. “My spring melancholy is developing in these hot days into summer madness.” (Virginia Woolf)

 

My Inspiration for May 2017

30 May

Oh May, you have bestowed upon my life your utmost charms, you’ve showered me with rose petals, kindness, gemstones, moonshine and poetry. Thy flowery sweetness I shan’t forget!

My two favourite paintings of the month were John Singer Sargent’s beautiful and magical garden scene “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” and Berthe Morisot’s “Julie Daydreaming”. I’ve been inspired by The Smiths, poems by Percy Shelley, Elizabeth Siddal, Heinrich Heine and Emily Dickinson, Iggy Pop’s album “Raw Power”, Donovan, Jane Asher in her groovy bedroom, Jean Shrimpton, poppy fields and gloomy roofs of Edinburgh, Broken Blossom (1919) with Lillian Gish who has been my favourite style inspiration lately and her face is hauntingly beautiful, her portrayal of the beautiful, downtrodden waif virgin Lucy Burrows is brilliant and poignant, Debussy’s oriental melodies that seemed to go perfectly with the short stories from Thomas Burke’s collection Limehouse Nights which are all full of  lyrical beauty, set in the seedy district of London’s Limehouse with street lamps, roses and opium dens, and interesting female characters who are all quirky and unique, full of life, or fragile. I’ve read: Love Story by Erich Segal which I read because I wanted something light and swift, and I remembered that Johnny Depp or Barnabas Collins was reading the book in “Dark Shadows” (2012), La Morte Amoureuse by Theophile Gautier, Belle de Jour by Joseph Kessel which I thought was fantastic; it was fast-paced and gave a good insight into Severine’s thoughts and emotions. I was not too crazy about the film, admittedly, but I did have the image of Catherine Deneuve while I was reading the story because I think she is perfect in that “cold-blonde” roles.

Oh, and I just started watching “Anne with an E”; it is the new adaptation of the book Anne of Green Gables, and I absolutely adore it! It’s witty, fun, and quirky, and I like the costumes as well. My darling May, I shall weep many and many a tear for you, and then, I shall wipe my tears to see what pearls June has to offer. Enjoy the pictures!

 

Storm Fiddle · Portnockie © Ian Cameron

My Inspiration for April 2017

30 Apr

This April I was inspired by Berthe Morisot’s loose brushwork and images of women, romantic ruins, heather fields and hawthorn trees, Chopin’s Mazurkas, Eugene Onegin, Winterhalter’s portrait of Empress Elisabeth Sissi in her gorgeous tulle gown, gardens in bloom, straw hats, Victorian fashion photography, Turgenev’s heroines, Beardsley’s decadent glamour, moonlit Dutch landscapes, portraits of women with harps, 1840s fashion. I’ve read a few interesting short stories; First Sorrow by Franz Kafka, and I’ve been rereading Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s short story collection Twelve Pilgrims; when I first read it six years ago and now still my favourite story is The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow; it’s about two wealthy Columbian newly weds, Nena and Billy Sanchez, who come to Europe on honeymoon, and Nena cuts her finger on a rose thorn, leaves a trail of blood in the snow… and, well read for yourself. The atmosphere of the story has similarities with Kafka’s style. I’ve watched an interesting three part BBC documentary narrated by Lucy Worsley called Elegance and Decadence: The Age of Regency, and a film with nice costumes set in times of the English Civil War – The Devil’s Whore (2008); both are on Youtube.

My Inspiration for March 2017

31 Mar

An artist I was particularly obsessed with this month is Egon Schiele – even the sparrows in my garden know this by now. Beware, there’s more to come about his genius! Other things that inspired me were: John Keats’s beautiful and poignant letters to Fanny Brawne and film Bright Star (2009), music by Blondie, The Police, Gang of Four, the soundtrack for Marie Antoinette (2006); a film which I am not a big fan of despite the gorgeous costumes. Also, I’ve really liked the version of the song ‘Summer Wine’ sung by Ville Valo and Natalia Avelon:

“Strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring
My summer wine is really made from all these things”

Even though spring has just started, I don’t think I’ve ever felt it so deeply and profoundly. I walk the streets wide-eyed like a madman, gazing at blossoming trees in awe, picking flowers wherever I see them; gentle violets, apple twigs and fragrant daffodils have all found their way to my vase. The beauty of trees in bloom and pink sunsets is killing me so sweetly and slowly. And in April I shall spend my evenings sitting by the window, reading poetry and listening to Chopin, and my daydreams shall start and my heart shall be filled with delight when I take in the intoxicating fragrance of lilac trees. Expect an utterly romantic and indolent mood for April!

My Inspiration for February 2017

26 Feb

This February I’ve been in a Japanese mood, which you’ve probably noticed in my posts. I’ve been inspired by Whistler’s ladies in white, Jean-Louis Forain’s portraits of the decadent gaudy nightlife of La Belle Epoque, Odilon Redon’s flowers and butterflies, white Regency dresses, costumes in the film ‘Love Witch’ (2016), which I haven’t seen by the way, Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, and Manic Street Preachers whose lyrics I’ve voraciously been re-reading. I’ve watched Wim Wenders’ Alice in the Cities (1974) and I loved it. I’ve also read some poetry by Rabindranath Tagore: pure beauty. I’ve enjoyed re-reading many poems by Rimbaud and Baudelaire and I hope to continue doing so in March.

What else; hmm I’ve been listening to The Cure quite a lot as somebody reminded me of it, and also Lou Reed and Velvet Underground; ‘I’ll be your mirror’ is such a beautiful song. I loved Serge Gainsbourg’s album ‘Melody Nelson’, in particular the song ‘L’hotel Particulier’ which has a great video where Serge and Jane Birkin are walking through the paintings of Paul Delvaux.

I’ve read two BRILLIANT books, each in a different way, The Three-Cornered World by Soseki Natsume and finally, oh, finally Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki.; the first is a tale of a thirty year old artist, painter and a poet, who retreats to the mountains to find artistic inspiration and stays at a remote hotel where he encounters a beautiful and mysterious woman, he loves Millais’ Ophelia and the story of drowning and finding serenity in death is also entwined with his stay there. The latter is about a guy, Joji, who becomes intrigued by a pretty, half-Western looking fifteen year old waitress Naomi, and adopts her, marries her and hopes to mould her into a perfect companion for him, but things go terribly wrong, and Joji finds himself powerless against her charms.

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